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-   -   Less does, more rutting bucks? (https://www.huntingnet.com/forum/whitetail-deer-hunting/372276-less-does-more-rutting-bucks.html)

salukipv1 09-10-2012 02:05 PM

Less does, more rutting bucks?
 
anyone believe in the idea that harvesting does will help create an atmosphere in which bucks will have to work harder/travel more to get a doe and therefore you'd see more bucks/rutting activity?

where calls work better, rattling etc...

I remember seeing a program a couple years back,a high fence operation I think it was, that none the less kept a ratio of higher than 1:1 buck:doe, more like 1.5 bucks: 1 doe they felt was ideal

or do you think less does on your property means bucks going to your neighbors land and staying there? or at least venturing off your land onto the neighbors in search of does? or can you essentially have the best of both worlds? enough does on your land to keep the bucks there but not enough to mean they won't have to travel at all.

what do you think?

nchawkeye 09-10-2012 03:36 PM

I've seen it happen...

We own 3 family farms in eastern NC, raise corn, soybeans, peanuts, cotton and wheat...Except for the cotton deer love the rest of the crops...Thirty years or so ago we would see 40-50 deer in our fields with little rut activity...

We started a program where we started killing does and ended up learning that after the first few years we could take 30-40 does a year and 6-10 bucks and we had bigger bucks, healthier deer and we saw more daylight rutting activity...

Now, this took several years to reduce the herd down to where bucks were chasing, looking for hot does but it can work...

BigJoe79 09-10-2012 05:21 PM

There have been numerous publications on studies that promote doe harvesting for an optimal population balance for an areas whitetail herd. One of the benefits of creating such a balance for the herd is that it promotes competition between bucks. A necessary level of competition is not only healthy for the herd but promotes better genetics in the herd overall. More mature bucks with better genetics will eventually start to show as smaller or more inferior bucks will have much fewer chances to breed a doe compared in an area that has a low buck to doe ratio. This, with compared to how it is now in a lot of areas with ratios of 1:6 or even higher like in my area its 1:10+ its ridiculous. Bucks in areas like these virtually have no competition and do not have to venture far out of their home ranges if they do at all. As for venturing onto your neighbors, it depends on how much land your hunting and where the bucks home range is (remember a bucks home range can be any shape and is typically 1 sq. mi but it could be completely linear) thats a tough question to pose and answer. But yeah it works and it's very beneficial! I'm all for takin' does and lettin' dem little bucks grow!

fastetti 09-10-2012 05:24 PM

Man Saluki, you must have read my mine. Im on another smaller forum and posted this same question. I am mixed but the posts I got it seemed like people would rather have more does therefor more ladies for the bucks to go after. Plus, after thinking about it, you have more of a chance to have a doe in estrus too.

nchawkeye 09-10-2012 06:50 PM


Originally Posted by fastetti (Post 3975761)
Man Saluki, you must have read my mine. Im on another smaller forum and posted this same question. I am mixed but the posts I got it seemed like people would rather have more does therefor more ladies for the bucks to go after. Plus, after thinking about it, you have more of a chance to have a doe in estrus too.


And that is the problem, too many folks "thinking" instead of actually trying themselves and seeing what really happens...

Ask these fellows how many does a buck can tend, it will suprise you some of the answers...It's not as many as most think...

What most don't consider in the case of raising big deer is the doe...Remember, she accounts for 50% of those genes...If she is healthy that young buck will too...

If you put 20 cows on 20 acres they won't have enough to eat...Put 5 on and they will...

Wanna keep those bucks on your property??? Foodplots, the more the merrier...Bedding areas, sanctuaries...Keep their belly full and give them a place where they think they are safe and they won't go far...

BigJoe79 09-10-2012 07:00 PM

Another good point nchawkeye. Well put.

salukipv1 09-11-2012 08:16 AM


Originally Posted by fastetti (Post 3975761)
Man Saluki, you must have read my mine. Im on another smaller forum and posted this same question. I am mixed but the posts I got it seemed like people would rather have more does therefor more ladies for the bucks to go after. Plus, after thinking about it, you have more of a chance to have a doe in estrus too.

I've heard this theory too, but the more I think about it it makes sense, if a buck has food, cover, and does galore, why would he bother moving more than 200yds? and if you're not in that 200yd area you won't even see him...

AquamanPSD 09-11-2012 11:21 AM

This is one of the reason the Dept of Fish and Wildlife here in KY says the bucks in KY have grown so much in the past decade. Ky started with unlimited doe harvesting I think in 2004. Ever since then the buck just keep getting bigger and bigger. Couple this with less tobacco and a lot more beans and corn and this explains why we have had some monsters killed here the last couple years. There is some states, I think maybe Pennsyvania, that at one point i belive had a law that you had to kill a doe before you could kill a buck. I'm not %100 sure of that but i heard it somewhere and it makes sense. It will keep a lot of gun hunters from killing a spike on opening morning and then stop hunting for the year.

HatchieLuvr 09-11-2012 12:13 PM

Absolutely, a better buck-doe ratio leads to much more visible rutting activity. That is why large tracts and/or high fencing is so desireable for true herd mgmt. And that's why the guys on TV aren't hunting in National Forrests but instead on highly managed, private herds. "Deer hunting the way we wish it was" is really not natural, it's MADE the way we want it via management. Essentially, un-managed, let nature take it's course, unlimited pressure deer hunting is what you see on public land!

If you have a typical, small 50-100acre tract surrounded by more typical small tracts with a mis-match, hodge podge of mgmt techniques going on then I think the only thing you can do is manage the LAND ITSELF for maximum productivity. But then you aren't truly managing the herd itself! Whacking does will reduce the pressure on the available foodsupply on your land which can possibly make it more "desireable and attractive to bucks" but it's like wise going to make it more desireable to ALL deer so you are almost fighting a loosing battle. Constantly hammering does only puts more gunfire noise and blood scent on the area. Doesn't do much for keeping the "hunting pressure" light in areas you hope to attract big bucks into striking range!

That's why I pretty much don't allow whackin does during the prime mating time when me and my guests are after trophies. I would rather does be harvested during archery season and then a "mad rush" for doe whackin after New Years for the last few days of gun season!

fastetti 09-11-2012 06:07 PM


Originally Posted by nchawkeye (Post 3975803)
And that is the problem, too many folks "thinking" instead of actually trying themselves and seeing what really happens...

Ask these fellows how many does a buck can tend, it will suprise you some of the answers...It's not as many as most think...

What most don't consider in the case of raising big deer is the doe...Remember, she accounts for 50% of those genes...If she is healthy that young buck will too...

If you put 20 cows on 20 acres they won't have enough to eat...Put 5 on and they will...

Wanna keep those bucks on your property??? Foodplots, the more the merrier...Bedding areas, sanctuaries...Keep their belly full and give them a place where they think they are safe and they won't go far...

Sorry, didn't mean to upset you by letting you know the opinions and facts i've gathered from others. I've actually discussed this with people who HAVE done it and their still are valid points for both sides.

For some people "actually trying it" is a little easier said than done. The time to takes to bring down a doe herd on 500 to 1000 acres is a lot less than asking opinions on a forum. Plus, this is a place to ask for peoples opinions, I'm not asking for a land specialist.

While I see your point with Sanctuaries,food plots and bedding areas (all which we have on the land I hunt). You can have all of those three but if the neighbors property has all the does, they will be on the neighbors land more than anything.

Compare it to be out bar hoping in your college years. You can eat and sleep at home, but when your out and about, your going to be looking for the ladies and if one bar has zero and a bar down the street is full of tall blondes, I can tell you the bar you won't be at and the bar you will be spending all your time at. :barmy:


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